Blue Light Therapy – Pros and Cons

blue light therapyWith so many people trying to find the best acne treatment, one of the more unconventional treatments available for acne is blue light therapy. This type of acne treatment is notably different from conventional methods of skin care systems and other topical medications. It eliminates acne by using high intensity, non-UV blue light at a certain wavelength which can kill acne-causing bacteria. It is a non-invasive and painless natural treatment that kills Propionibacterium acnes which is otherwise known as P. acnes bacteria. This type of bacteria is known to cause acne inflammation.  The use of blue blue light as therapy treatment for acne  is FDA-approved and is widely used for treating acne vulgaris.

How Blue Light Therapy Works

When the P. acnes bacteria are present in the body, they release porphyrins, a natural-occurring substance. When this substance is exposed to blue light at a wavelength ranging from 405nm to 420nm, it produces free radicals that kill the P.acnes bacteria. Other cells are not affected in the process. As a treatment for acne, patients can opt to use blue light alone or use it with other acne treatment systems or topical medications.

Procedures Involved

The blue light system is commercially available and can be bought by anyone suffering from certain types of acne. This machine is quite easy to operate and all the patient has to do is to sit down in front of the machine for about 15 minutes in each session. Since the P. acnes bacteria multiply very fast, it is usually more effective to have an ongoing treatment to achieve better results. The frequency of the sessions per week usually depends on the severity of the acne. It is recommended that a dermatologist be consulted before using this acne treatment.

Pros and Cons

Blue light therapy is not a one-size-fits-all acne treatment. Although there are people who can attest to its effectiveness in treating acne, this type of treatment may not be effective on other people and may not be effective in treating other types of acne. At times, it can also have side-effects like swelling in the treated area, temporary dryness and redness of the skin, or temporary pigment changes which are temporary and minor side-effects. One type of acne is also known to be unresponsive to this kind of treatment and that is the nodulocystic acne. This type of acne usually worsens when exposed to blue light. So it is important that there should be proper diagnosis as to the type of acne the person has before being subjected to blue light treatment. However, despite all these, the use of blue light in treating acne is still gaining in popularity because of the positive feedback from other patients. Blue light therapy may be effective to some patients, but it does not provide a total cure and there should be a consistent method of treatment to keep the acne under control. As with other kinds of laser acne treatment, it is always best for a patient to consult a doctor or dermatologist first before using the blue light treatment to avoid any possible complications.

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